What the future of family travel in South Africa holds

Posted by Imogen Searra on 29 May 2020

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the travel industry and what the future of travel will look like. It’s going to take a while before traveller confidence is restored.

That being said, many are eager to explore again, to create new memories and to experience new things especially as a family.

In a webinar hosted by Jumbari Family Safaris discussing the topic of What does the future hold for Family Travel in a post-COVID-19 world? there was a collective optimistic outlook.

The panel consisted of Lee Kelsall, Chief Executive Ker & Downey Africa Group, Rainer Jenss, Founder, Family Travel Association, USA, Cindy Boshoff, Sales & Marketing Director Belmond Safaris, Lize Smit, International Sales Manager One&Only Cape Town, Jan Scholtz, Trade Relations Manager Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, Paul Nel, Chief Executive City Sightseeing Cape Town & Johannesburg, Chris Anagnostellis, Chief Executive An African Anthology and Wayne Neath, National Sales Manager Dream Resorts.

While tourism has not been given the green light to resume on Level 3 of the nationwide lockdown, many are eager to share new experiences with their families.

From an international standpoint, Rainer Jenss explained that it’s going to take a lot to convince travellers to get on a long-haul flight again. Airlines are going to have to go above and beyond to ensure travellers feel safe in the post-COVID world. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding when we will be able to travel internationally again.

As a result, tourism is going to have to focus on targeting the local market, as well as to consider the economic crisis our country is enduring.

People will be frugal with their money and so in order to entice local travellers, especially families, the offering needs to be worthwhile. Price freezing from 2020-2021 is all very well for high-end resorts, but not with the current exchange rate.

A safari holiday is the ultimate social distancing experience and South Africa is one of the top safari destinations in the world. With vast open spaces, open air vehicles and spacious rooms, we may see an increased demand for this type of holiday.

People are going to be hesitant to travel but will want to create new memories and share new experiences with their family once travel resumes again.

Since the beginning of lockdown, priorities have changed. Focus has shifted away from what we don’t have and onto what we do have: family. People who are separated from their loved ones at this time are desperate to be reunited.

The hospitality industry as a whole needs to do everything they can to make guests feel comfortable. From health and safety regulations that are in line with CDC guidelines, to reducing staff-guest interactions, sanitization of luggage and cutting down the number of guests per game vehicle will all form part of the new normal.

When travel resumes, it will be interesting to see how the hospitality industry gears itself toward attracting local guests, as well as whether the optimistic predictions for family travel are brought to fruition.

Image credit: Unsplash


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